Capitals White House Visit Sparks Fan Controversy

Word slipped out on Tuesday that the Washington Capital Stanley Cup Champions would keep with tradition and visit the White House on 25 March. Only seven of the players are US born, and as of today, only Brett Connolly has said he will not attend the celebration. Other players may decide against going; however, for now it looks as if most of the team will reunite with Lord Stanley on Monday.

The news was received with mixed emotions across the DMV. Bloggers experienced the rise and fall of follower counts as the controversy peaked on social media. So what’s behind the heated debate? There are basically three strands of viewpoints that are pretty reflective of the general atmosphere across the country right now.

There are those who hold deep negative views about Donald Trump and are adamantly against a White House visit. Some have called the president racist, bigoted, and sexist; among other choice terms. Others have said they will boycott the DC Pride Parade if Braden Holtby participates in the visit. They are disappointed and dismayed that the Capitals as an organization accepted the invite.

Conversely, there are those who applaud the Capitals decision and believe it is merely an act of respect and tradition to go to the White House, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office. In their excitement about the visit they may have innocently entered into the discussion only to have fueled the flames of dissent. Some in the anti-visit group have said that the pro-visit group are white elitists who fully support the president’s negative aspects and they have been perceived as being out of touch with popular sentiment.

Still, on the third strand of this controversy are the so-called ‘stick to hockey’ crowd who prefer not to read political opinions regarding the Capitals decision in sports blogs about their team. They may support the president or may oppose his views. They contend that they want an escape from the polarized political environment that surrounds the DMV and for them that is reading about the Caps without editorial viewpoints added. They have been called clueless and challenged by the first group to take a stand against the visit.

The messages from all sides of this conversation have been loud as each strives to be heard. We at FiCP spent hours discussing the issue and determining how to best respond in a way to respect these different viewpoints.

Our team is diverse and distinctly representative of the Caps fans base in the DMV: we stem from different political parties and hold different religious views, we are people of different color and ethnic backgrounds, and we are young and not so young. We have express sexual orientations and we are single and married. After talking it through we decided that we would report the news as news, without bias, and without opinion.

We write out of a love of hockey, first and foremost. Out of respect for the diversity of FiCP and our followers, we are taking an unbiased journalistic stance to reporting. Unfortunately, it has caused some of our followers to leave us and we are sorry they have gone. We will continue to collect and report the news, in an unbiased and fair manner, including this current controversy that has crept into the sports writing sphere.

Author: Maggie Marcum

Managing Editor for Friends in Cold Places.

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